Recommendations for dark roast to replace my beloved Scarlet City Warp Drive

Discuss flavors, brew temperatures, blending, and cupping notes.
moseley

#1: Post by moseley »

NOOOOOO!!!!

I just found out that Jen at Scarlet City Roasting is closing up shop. Her Warp Drive is my absolute favorite and this is hitting me like a gut punch.

Anyone have coffees I should try that are similar? I've tried the following:

Vivace Dolce
Fonté Portofino
Fonté Espresso Reserve

I liked these, but they never quite had the combination of flavors that Warp Drive had. I'll probably try these all again, but wondering if there are other roasts similar to Warp Drive that I should add to this list.

Thanks.

DaveB
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#2: Post by DaveB »

Wow, that's terrible news. First the cafe closing last year, now this.

https://www.scarletcityroasting.com

There was nothing quite like Warp Drive. At first glance it looked like a Charbucks roast, but the body and depth were amazing, and by FAR the biggest, richest chocolate bomb I've had to date. I would think Vivace's offerings might be worth looking into. While I've yet to sample, Jen of Scarlet worked was head roaster there for years, and with her Warp Drive recommended the same ristretto style shots (20g in 20g out @203º).

RIP Scarlet City!
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wachuko

#3: Post by wachuko »

I agree... give Vivace Dolce another try. It is the closest one to Warp Drive that I have found...

Very sad to read the news. Loved to stop there every time I had a trip to SFO...

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Searching for that perfect espresso!

Wachuko - LMWDP #654

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HB
Admin

#4: Post by HB »

moseley wrote:I just found out that Jen at Scarlet City Roasting is closing up shop.
Sigh! As a historical reference, here's a copy/paste of the farewell note shown on her site:
Scarlet City Roasting wrote:Dear Friends & Fans, I've enjoyed roasting your beans for over 10 years, and connecting with so many interesting people along the way. Unrelated to COVID19 and months ago, I made the decision to close the business and move out of CA. It just so happened to coincide with the Apocalypse! I appreciate all the fun and good conversations along the way, and hope that Scarlet City coffee has brought you as much joy as it did to me.

Thank you so much for your patronage!

Live Long & Prosper, Jen St.Hilaire
Dan Kehn

moseley

#5: Post by moseley »

Thanks, all. I'll give Espresso Dolce another shot. I've got some vacuum sealed Warp Drive in my freezer. Going to hold onto that for a while...

DaveB
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#6: Post by DaveB »

For fans of Scarlet City, Jen's bio is a good read:

https://www.scarletcityroasting.com/our-company
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Ben C

#7: Post by Ben C »

I just found this out. Scarlet City had recently become my favorite local roaster and I had planned to buy them a lot more frequently after finishing a long round of mail order experimentations. Next in line for me is Northbound's dark roasts which luckily for me gets delivered to my local grocery store. I haven't done a side by side with SC but so far nothing has had the same lightly spiced brownie dough flavor of Warp Drive.

(edit) however I do have a fresh bag of Dolce in the cupboard that I'll start on in a few days so we'll see.

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Balthazar_B

#8: Post by Balthazar_B »

FWIW, I reached out to Jen, and she suggested Vivace's Vita is the closest alternative she's aware of. We're also in the process of trying a few new things, and will add to this thread if any of them can play in the same ballpark. So far they're on the schneid.
- John

LMWDP # 577

DaveB
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#9: Post by DaveB »

Thanks for the info. Unfortunately Vivace appears to only sell 12oz bags, and shipping for 1 is $8 and for 2 to 6 bags it's $14.35.
It seems most roasters offer free shipping over a certain amount - typically $40 or 5lbs, etc.

Did Jen give any hint that she might roast again someday?
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Balthazar_B

#10: Post by Balthazar_B »

DaveB wrote:Thanks for the info. Unfortunately Vivace appears to only sell 12oz bags, and shipping for 1 is $8 and for 2 to 6 bags it's $14.35.
It seems most roasters offer free shipping over a certain amount - typically $40 or 5lbs, etc.
So here's a little story. I asked Vivace if they'd sell me some Vita in a 5 lb bag, and their reply was, heck, no, we want to guarantee our customers will enjoy fresh coffee, therefore we only ship in 12 oz bags. Then I pointed out that from our experience, coffee handled and frozen correctly will apparently stay fresh for up to 6 months, and besides, for a 12 oz bag, shipping -- of course Vivace is at the mercy of shippers as are we all -- adds nearly half again to the price of the beans. At which point they came back and suggested -- I just *knew* they would :) -- that I could order the 5 lbs in 12 oz bags and lower the unit cost of shipping that way. Ummm... :roll:. It was a Bobby Dupea moment from Five Easy Pieces.

But if all the other coffees in queue we're trying out don't make the grade, Vita will still be next on the list, based on Jen's recommendation.
Did Jen give any hint that she might roast again someday?
Not in our correspondence. But I did beg her to keep the Scarlet City mailing list and let us all know if she sets up shop somewhere else, or trains someone how to select beans and roast as she did. I'll miss chatting with her...she has always been a good listener, responsive, and invariably positive. And that coffee!
- John

LMWDP # 577